Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Hunger Games

I’m sure most of you have heard by now of The Hunger Games. Despite my resistance at the subject matter, once I got into the book, I couldn’t put it down. Fabulous writing. I guess that’s why it’s so popular.

But I’m not talking about the book here. I’m talking about my own version of hunger. And to deal with my hunger, I made it into a “game.”

Thanks to the inspiration of my friend, Rhi Farrell, I started the GM Diet this week. (Rhi runs a parenting website called The Parent 411 and she also does web design.)

I had been counting calories, trying to shed 10 pounds that have crept up over the past several years. But the counting wasn’t working. I’m not sure why; I was pretty good at math when I was younger. My adult version of math wasn’t as reliable :

  •  400 calories for lunch + ignore calories from Goldfish crackers popped into my mouth while serving children = no weight loss

So when I read about the GM Diet on one of her posts, I decided to give it a try. Not only does it claim to offer the shedding of up to 10 pounds in one week, but it’s also known as a detox cleanse.

How hard could only seven days of “dieting” be? After all, the diet plan consisted mostly of fruits and vegetables (the vegetarian version anyway). For someone like me, vegetarian for more than half my life, it seemed perfect.

Day One: Eat nothing but fruit, except no bananas. Drink 10 glasses of water.

My Day One: After consuming almost an entire cantaloupe, some green grapes, and apple slices, I felt fine. Satiated.

But then nighttime came and my son’s track practice where I normally walk laps with my friend, Coach Karen. (Join her Facebook page for some awesome dieting and health tips. She is one of the most encouraging people I know!)

I didn’t take any snacks with me – or any liquids – as I didn’t want to have to visit the bathroom on every lap. But as we walked, the hunger set in. Clawing, scratching at me. Feed me. Now. Eat anything. Now.

How could I deal with it?

I tried centering myself into a meditative state. What would I do if I really had no food around? After all, I’ve never suffered from that dilemma.

I had to make it into a game. Pretending I didn't have the choice.

So maybe that’s what this week is really about. Me learning what it feels like to be hungry.

And even though I do have food within reach, there are many others who do not. To me, it was just a game to get through one night of dieting; to others, it’s a way of life.

[How can you help? One way: Go through your cupboard and pull out things you know you won’t eat (not expired though!). Donate them to your local food bank.]

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dealing with Rejection (Letters)

I love days when life flows from one moment to the next. Who doesn’t? (Well, there are those lovers of life drama, but that’s a subject for another blog.)

Then there are those days when life is full of bumps. Or more appropriately - since I was at a track meet earlier - hurdles.

The crazy drivers cutting everyone off on the freeway.

The unbearable temperatures – high or low.

Whining children.

The rejection letters.


Did I mention the rejection letters?

I thought I was used to rejections from my days of pursuing acting work. It was relatively easy for me back then to brush them off and tell myself that I just wasn’t right for the part.

Having my writing rejected is another story. It’s like having my soul rejected. (Okay, I’m being a bit melodramatic.)

So after allowing myself a short “pity-party” session, I went off to read about authors who had their work rejected. Countless times. (Thanks to Michelle Reynoso for this link.)

At least the box that was checked on my form letter rejection said my work was rejected because it was “not suited to our present needs.” And there was a handwritten message thanking me for thinking of them. I guess it could have been worse.

So now I brush myself off and continue the process of sending and sending and sending out my work.

Hopefully, my fate won’t be the same as that of William Saroyan, who reportedly received 7,000 rejections before selling a short story.

And I realize these hurdles are preparing me for larger ones to come, whether they are other crazy drivers, heat waves, or rejection letters.

Or something else. (Writing deadlines?)

Now, do yourself a favor and check out the blogs of these great people/writers.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming post on the Mouse Tales Press Blog about some small adjustments to our submission guidelines.


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Friday, April 13, 2012

Platform Challenge - Day 13 (And a Tanka!)

So when I thought I was going to be flooded with work, I had no idea what I was manifesting. This morning, I got my Platform Challenge – Day 13 out of the way and decided to wait on doing my P90X exercises.

Thank goodness I waited.

A thunderstorm moved in, so I thought I’d better shut down my computer. I decided to make some protein bars I’d found a recipe for.

Meanwhile the house lit up and rumbled from thunder, and I tried to calm my trembling dog.
After a bit, I had a seat on my sofa and noticed that my patio was having some problems with the deluge of water flowing over the sides of the wash near my house. So I put on the handy rain boots my daughter gave me the other day . . .

. . . and proceeded to sandbag the house, brushing the water off to the side.

After dealing with it all, I decided to check on my garden to see if it had survived. What did I find? My first edible treat!

And my garden is a-okay.

Now that the storm has passed, I have two yummy treats to enjoy – protein bars and a fresh strawberry. And I even got that workout in!

As for all that writing I planned on doing, well, I got something written down. A Tanka!


The Flood

Brownish water creeps,
scribbled lightning flash fiction,
flowing writing past
pen to patio,
brushing, sweeping thoughts aside.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Platform Challenge – Day 12

It’s hard to believe that it’s already Day 12 of  Robert Lee Brewer’s Platform Challenge. So far it’s been a great experience, pushing me to follow through on some things I’ve been putting off such as filling out my LinkedIn profile.

However, today I am overwhelmed.

Reading The Twitter Book, Kindle Version by Tim O'Reilly - or paperback version:The Twitter Book- and Sarah Milstein, Author Mama, How I Became A Published Author and How You Can Too by Christina Katz, working on the seemingly never-ending re-writes for my book, submitting poetry to literary magazines, and . . . well, you get the picture.

On a side note, I read my horoscope every day for fun; it’s amazing how accurate it has been, one day even speaking of networking. So today, in my drowning-in-projects condition, I read this:

Thursday, Apr 12th, 2012 -- Don't commit to more than you can deliver today, even if there's a lucrative idea floating around and exciting your interest. Rather than jumping into something new, finish up your previous responsibilities before you take on additional ones. The pace of your professional progress will increase next week, so keep your attention focused on tying up loose ends rather than dreaming about your next adventure.

Thanks for that reminder!

Anyway, I’ve been keeping an eye on writer conferences, pondering when I should attend my first one. I happened upon some great articles on preparing to attend:

25 Ways to Rock Writer’s Conferences by Robert Lee Brewer
Five Ways to Make (Not Spend!) Money at Conferences By Gabi Logan

Be sure to check out my previous posts:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weight Loss for Writers

Okay, this post isn’t really about weight loss. But wouldn’t that be cool . . . if I could turn my . . . **ahem** . . .extra pounds into new characters!

My world this week revolves around the “fleshing out” of characters, both fictional, and myself.

It’s hard to believe Day 9 of Robert Lee Brewer’s Platform Challenge has arrived. I’m so busy trying to figure out Twitter and working on my LinkedIn profile (not to mention playing chef, maid, and chauffeur) that I’ve barely had time for my personal projects. This week, I plan on being better organized.

Two helpful tools I recently found for character development:

The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life by Noah Lukeman

Another goody is "Character Writer," a computer program by Typing Chimp.

Tools for self-actualization? Here’s a good one: LinkedIn Tips for Writers.

I’m making this short because I need to get to work. I have characters to construct.